Gateway and Columbine students mark Citizenship Day


Which amendment to the nation’s Constitution gave every U.S. citizen the right to vote? Which one added women to the list of eligible voters? Who wrote the Constitution? When was it signed into law?

Columbine Elementary School

Fifth-graders at Columbine Elementary School were eager to answer questions posed by Teller County Commissioner Marc Dettenrieder, Sheriff Mike Ensminger and Deputy Renee Bunting in honor of Citizenship Day last week.

The pop quizzes were part of “Constitution bingo.” As Dettenrieder fired off questions about the British and the Revolutionary War, Ensminger talked about his role of protecting the residents of Teller County.

Ensminger was successful in extracting an answer from one of the students that had to do with America’s justice system, that citizens suspected of a crime are innocent until proven guilty.

The students were well aware of the rights granted by the First Amendment, including freedom of speech.

Cheered on by their principal, Veronica Wolken, the students were enthusiastically engaged in the civics lesson. “We are very serious about our children’s understanding of the fundamentals of our country,” Wolken said. “They are our future citizens.”

The class that day was part of the master series that has professionals sharing information about their life’s work. Last week, Jeff Wolin, a ranger at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, talked about national parks.

Other classes include the STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – curriculum as well as one designed to help students become entrepreneurs. “With the classes, the children are leaning about the real world,” Wolken said. “The district is on the cutting edge, revolutionizing education. We are all learning in different ways.”

Gateway Elementary School

Students at Gateway Elementary School held a celebration to honor Citizenship Day Sept. 16. Boy Scout Pack No. 25 raised the colors at the school flag pole while Woodland Park High School band, under the direction of Daren Dukart, performed several selections.

Representatives of several entities and agencies were welcome to the ceremony including: City of Woodland Park, fire and police departments, EMT’s, military/veterans and the national parks.

Gateway students showed their appreciation to the community members by making posters and thank-you cards and presenting them to each group at the ceremony.


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